Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This is the way we discover new blogs

I may have discovered a new favourite blog...or at least one that will be in contention for awhile.

It's the Freakonomics blog, and it's written by the authors of the book by the same name (which I recommend), Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

I read the book awhile ago (and recently bought a new copy) but I hadn't realized these guys had a blog, so I was happy to stumble across it recently.

I found the link to one of the posts on their blog through another of my favourite authors, Seth Godin, who's insights into marketing are always a good read. He's someone I've recommended before.

The post I was reading on Seth's site was a look at the "theatre" that goes on in so much everyday business, especially in the airlines business. He cited an Economist article that went into it in more detail, but unfortunately, you need to be a subscriber to read it. But you can get a good sense of it from Godin's post.

Here's a sample:

“GOOD morning, ladies and gentlemen. We are delighted to welcome you aboard Veritas Airways, the airline that tells it like it is. Please ensure that your seat belt is fastened, your seat back is upright and your tray-table is stowed. At Veritas Airways, your safety is our first priority. Actually, that is not quite true: if it were, our seats would be rear-facing, like those in military aircraft, since they are safer in the event of an emergency landing. But then hardly anybody would buy our tickets and we would go bust.

And another excerpt:

Please switch off all mobile phones, since they can interfere with the aircraft’s navigation systems. At least, that’s what you’ve always been told. The real reason to switch them off is because they interfere with mobile networks on the ground, but somehow that doesn’t sound quite so good. On most flights a few mobile phones are left on by mistake, so if they were really dangerous we would not allow them on board at all, if you think about it..."

This post resonated with me, since I'm about to hop on a plane to fly to Regina for a few days later this week, so I guess I've got air travel on my mind.

Following the links that come up in blog posts is a great way to expand your world-view and discover new writers. Most of them are simply interesting, then you move on, but occassionally you'll come across someone you want to add to your list of must-reads.

Of course, my problem is that my list of must-reads is getting so big I don't get to all of them very often. But that's a subject for another article.

What about you? How many writers (or websites) do you visit regularly? And how do you decide who gets on the list?

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